Prospero, Austin 1982. Breeding: The Knight X Château de Clos Vougeot
Prospero is an interesting little rose that will appeal to those who like the purple shades that are rarely found outside of the gallica class. I don't currently grow Prospero, but I will likely find a place for it in my collection again one day. As David Austin has said himself, this is not a strong grower. However, I get the impression that it does better in warm dry climates that it does in England. For me, it did very nicely, producing some of the most exquisite deep wine-purple blooms with a wonderful fragrance. It seems to be reasonably disease free, and well foliated with deep green leaves. This is a good rose for container culture as well, as it rarely will get taller than 2 feet. Most of the other Austin hybrids tend to grow far larger in America than English gardens, so this variety is a good choice for small gardens.
Don't be discouraged by warnings that this is a weak rose....as I say, most reports from North America indicate that Prospero will grow much better here than in Europe.
merit rating: 8.6
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